How We Claimed Our Online Presence on Facebook, TripAdvisor & Beyond

by Dan | 18th Oct 2017

Using Facebook as an Organisation:

Claiming Your Online Presence

Social media is the most popular way for people to access information about, and engage with, organisations. It is essential the information they are accessing is up-to-date and accurate, and that they can easily engage with you. In this series of short guides we aim to teach you the basics of using Facebook effectively as an organisation.

You’re probably already on Facebook

Even if you’ve never touched a computer, you may already have a Facebook page… or several!

Once you’ve signed up to Facebook a good first move is to search for the name of your organisation. Why? Because it might already be there.

You see, Facebook doesn’t wait for you to join: if people are talking about you, Facebook creates a page. Some users may also take it upon themselves to create pages and groups, particularly for venues.

Here’s what used to show up when you searched for EVI:

evi search for Facebook tips

Despite the slight variation in name and detail it’s evident the places all refer to the same venue.

Losing control

There are a few reasons why this is problematic. For starters it’s confusing as there’s no way to know which (if any) is the official page. Unofficial pages often contain information from Wikipedia and/or input from members of the public — it’s not always reliable (Ebbw Vale is not in Chepstow). You don’t have control over what is said. As well as causing confusion, it splits your audience. By merging these pages into one it would have up to* 9,169 fans and 871 check-ins.

* Assuming each ‘like’ is from a unique user. In reality a lot of these users had liked multiple EVI pages.

These unofficial pages aren’t likely to be malicious. It’s far more likely they were created by people who have tagged, reviewed, or otherwise got involved in your organisation and wanted to talk about it. Let’s take a look at an unofficial page:

It looks like this page has been created because a user has location-tagged a picture on Instagram (which is owned by Facebook). Note that the information is lacking, including a typo in the website address.

Clear the confusion

Fortunately it’s easy to claim unofficial pages. You can either take them over or merge them with an official page.

Just click on ‘Is this your business?’ in the top-right corner

A verified page shows up higher in search results and has a reassuring tick, confirming it is official. If your organisation has a listed office number then getting verified is as simple as answering the phone and typing in a code. It is definitely worth doing.

After verifying our page and merging it with the unofficial pages, the search results look a lot better:

Much tidier. No confusion, and a verified tick.

Remember you don’t want to remove people’s ability to talk about your organisation; you just want it to all happen in one official place (and have the option of moderation where necessary). So make sure people can still post on the wall, tag the page, and get involved. Ultimately you want to be saying “Hey, thanks for talking about us — please continue to do so on the new, official page” rather than “we’re taking over now, beat it”.

Do it again!

Now that you know how to claim your online presence on Facebook, keep an eye out for other websites where you can do the same. From LinkedIn to Foursquare, there are plenty of places where people are already talking about you. Make sure you’re part of the conversation.

This doesn’t just apply to Facebook. (Screenshot from Bing Maps)

More Facebook Tips

Facebook Tips: Creating A Profile Or Page


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